Metabolic Syndrome: Is Your Body At Risk?

Metabolic Syndrome: Is Your Body At Risk?

March 01, 2019

Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a serious health condition associated with a group of various metabolic disorders. Typically, MS presents with interrelated metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance/impaired glucose tolerance, increased abdominal adiposity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia (1). All of these clustering traits present significant metabolic risk factors linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature death (2). The proportion and composition of foods in our diets can significantly lead to increased risks of metabolic syndrome.

metabolic syndrome

What is the connection between our diets or eating behaviors and metabolic syndrome?

The type, amount, and the frequency of eating behaviors influence the body’s metabolism either positive or negatively. Poor dietary patterns and unhealthy eating behaviors contribute to increased risks of metabolic syndrome. In particular, a diet containing high levels of unhealthy fats and highly processed, refined foods such as sugars coupled with lack of physical exercise may lead to impaired glucose tolerance (3). The consumption of unhealthy fats and sugars contains high levels of calories that cause metabolic imbalances- calorie intake exceeds the energy expedited by the body through fasting and exercise. As a result, much of the calories get stored in the body as fat that subsequently plays a role in insulin resistance (4).  

Suggested read: Is Sugar Toxic?

On the other hand, insulin resistance leads to impaired glucose tolerance in the body. This means that your body would have elevated blood sugar levels that may lead to diabetes. Evidence presented in the literature shows that 86% of people diagnosed with diabetes also have metabolic syndrome (5). In addition, insulin resistance results in more fat being stored in form of adipose tissue; thus, increasing abdominal adiposity, overweight/obesity, and risks of cardiovascular diseases.

How Can Diet Prevent Metabolic Syndrome?  

Proper dietary patterns are crucial to preventing risks of developing metabolic syndrome. For example, you need to incorporate healthy eating habits by considering whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat foods are part of our diets. Vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain carbohydrates not only contain fewer calories but are also absorbed slowly by the body to help normalize blood sugar (6). Furthermore, lifestyle changes through quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, sugary foods, and high-fat foods help in adopting a healthy diet; thus, improving the body’s metabolic functioning.  

Exercise

Suggested read: How To: The Truth About Fat Loss
                            15 Foods You Should Be Eating

Physical exercise can also play a protective role in metabolic syndrome. Physical exercise offers a direct positive effect on the heart function, which leads to increased myocardial oxygen supply and improved circulation to support proper metabolic processes in the body (7). Some of the metabolic health benefits associated with physical exercises include weight loss, distribution of body fat, and controlled levels of blood sugars. Subsequently, this helps to maintain a healthy heart and reduce the health risks associated with obesity. Routine medical screening for various metabolic abnormalities is also a significant prevention measure against preventing risks of developing metabolic syndrome.

While poor dietary habits increase the risks of developing metabolic syndrome, adopting healthy dietary and eating habits serves as effective prevention measures. It is important to ensure healthy dietary and lifestyle changes to effectively prevent and manage the health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.



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